In an intimate ceremony during a graduation thanksgiving at a church in Washington, human rights workers who sponsored the education of Chibok girls in the U.S. formally handed one of the girls, Debbie, back to her father, Premium Times reports.
Her father (name withheld for his safety as he still resides in northeast Nigeria) is visiting the U.S. for her graduation.
After a symbolic presentation of her diploma to international human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe, Debbie answered questions on whether she purchased the diploma or worked hard to earn it. “I worked for it,” she declared.
Thereafter she presented the diploma to her dad who extolled her virtue in maintaining cultural norms of respect and fulfilling the Chibok rite of honouring her dad for helping achieve this milestone. He commended her hard work and faithfulness which he said he could always count on.
Mr. Ogebe then declared that Debbie owed nothing having met her obligations to study hard and complete her high school education while she in turn affirmed that the charity – Education Must Continue – owed Debbie nothing.
Mr. Ogebe reaffirmed the fatherhood of her parent over her and acknowledged her mum in absentia both of whom he attested had properly raised Debbie making the job of educating her easier for the organisation compared to others.
He reiterated that the parent had a say over the future direction of his daughter and should let EMC know how they may further assist her.
“The importance of this rite of passage is to ensure that the girls and their families understand that they have not lost their bonds, and they have input and process control. There is no assumption that she is gone for good or lost to America and therefore no more connected with her roots. Familial engagement is a critical component of our program ethos,” says Emmanuel Ogebe.